Category Archives: Reviews

Yakuza 6 the Song of Life Potentially Heading to PC

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It’s that time of the year everyone, finacial reports are in for a lot of big gaming companies. Sometimes these reports can give some interesting early announcements for things to come. Such as today, in SEGA’s finacial report, they seemed to have list Yakuza 6 the Song of Life for a PC release sometime between the end of this year and the start of next year.

While this may not come as a surprise with Yakuza 0 having a pretty stellar launch on PC and Yakuza Kiwami heading to PC later this year, it’s just good to see SEGA committed to bringing the entire Yakuza catalog to the platform one game at a time. It will be interesting to see if we get an official announcement of this at Gamescon. The PC could be where The Dragon Engine truly shine! In the meantime we will keep you all posted if any news break, meanwhile you can check out our review of Yakuza 6 the Song of Life here.

Or you can watch our video review:

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Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition Review – A Royal Comeback

Developer: Omega Force/Team Ninja

Publisher: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo Switch

ESRB Rating: T

Release Date: May 18th, 2018

MRSP: $59.99

Thank you, Nintendo for providing a review copy!

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition is the re-release of the 2014 collaboration project between Koei Tecmo and Nintendo celebrating “The Legend of Zelda” as a franchise. This repackaging includes a load of new content not found in the original release as well as some updated visuals. Do these changes warrant buying the game again? Today we take a look and decide for ourselves. Please note that this will not be so much of a review as a comparison to the original release of the game not including any of its season pass DLC.

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Story:
The story is the original Wii U release of this game was surprisingly decent. It was not a masterpiece of storytelling but for a musou game it had a fun number of battles and the story never felt too serious or comedic for the tone of the Zelda series. The added DLC campaigns from the season pass included within the definitive edition re-release really help develop some of the characters who did not get too much time in the original story. The added the Wind Waker arc after the completion of the main story was a very fun addition as well. While there are your standard character misunderstandings that lead to battles, it checks out as a decent story mode. Nothing amazing, but it works for what it is.

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Graphics:
The Wii U was not a technical powerhouse by any means, but neither is the Switch. While the original game ran at 720p 30 fps with an extremely variable framerate that often went below 20, the Switch version has made some pretty big strides. The Resolution has received a bump to 1080p and the framerate is now an unlocked 60 fps. While it is not stable, it makes a humongous difference in battle. The actual art style of the game is quite nice and compliments the various conflicting visual styles of the games in the franchise pretty well. Handheld mode on the other hand, is an absolutely atrocious experience. If you thought the Wii U version was a mess performance wise, the handheld mode will have battling constantly at 20 fps and below. It actually hurt my eyes at times, which alone is a testament to its poor performance.

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Audio/Music:
Musou games have been known to have very fun power metal variations on the themes and songs taken from the source material and this game does not disappoint. Most classic Zelda fan favorites are here with very fun and upbeat remixes. Most of the sound queues and alert noises are also taken from games throughout the franchise’s history. The sound design aspect of the original did not disappoint, and nothing has changed for the better.

-Sample of the Soundtrack-

Gameplay:
Hyrule Warriors has your standard musou gameplay of mashing X and Y a bunch of times to destroy hundreds of braindead enemies, but there are a few new additions to the mix. The new equipment such as the hammer will introduce new ways to go about fighting bosses. The “My Fairy” system allows you to tackle the Adventure mode with bonuses and adding buffs to your character. Another great added mechanic is the ability to switch characters, which makes multitasking much easier of a feat to accomplish mid battle. These are only a few of the mechanics not found in the original release, and I have yet to find one that hinders gameplay.

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Content:
Of all the musou spinoffs out there, this one is up near the top in terms of content. The main story mode including all of the extra missions takes about 15 hours, which is 5-6 more than the original game. Adventure mode which includes more than 5 maps each of which can take of upwards of 4-5 hours to complete, and there are almost twice as many characters in the roster compared to the Wii U release. The only major complaint in terms of content is that you’ll be repeating a lot of the same levels in the story mode, and especially in the extra side missions.

3

Overall:
Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition takes some of the best aspects of Zelda and musou games and blends them into a somewhat monotonous but mostly fulfilling experience. Fans of the Wii U release and newcomers will appreciate what they have added here. With terrible handheld performance and a lot of repeating levels being its only major drawbacks, this is definitely the better of the two Nintendo Warriors games.

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Shining Resonance Refrain Review- Not a Shinning Example

Developer: SEGA

Publisher: SEGA

Platform(s): PS4*, Nintendo Switch, XBO, PC

Release Date: June 10th, 2018

ESRB Rating: T

MRSP: $49.99

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen anything Shining related here in the west, the last game being a 2016 fighting game featuring characters from Shining games that were never localized, Blade Arcus from Shining: Battle Arena. Before that, despite the constant release of Shining games in Japan on PSP, Shining’s presence in the west more or less disappeared after the release of Shining Force EXA for the PS2 back in 2007. That said, Shining moved back to consoles in 2014 with the release of Shining Resonance on PS3. That version wasn’t localized, but it has been remastered for current generation consoles.

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Death end re;Quest Heads to North America and Europe Early 2019

Today during their pannel at Anime Expo, Idea Factory International has confirmed that Death and re;Quest will be heading westward on the PS4 in Early 2019! Death end Re;Quest has quite a few names behind it who are working on it, such as developers who worked on Corpse Party and Mary Skelter. You can expect to find the following in this interesting game:

  • Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction? – Jump between reality and in-game modes, as players will need to investigate in real world view to solve the mysterious inner-workings of the World Odyssey, and switch to an in-game view mode to battle against glitched-out monsters. Choose options wisely, as your decision can change the game’s ending!​
  • Turn-Based RPGs Flipped Upside Down – In this turn-based command battle system, you can roam freely and duke it out with fearsome monsters. During battle, players can change the game’s genre from a first-person shooter to even a fighting game!
  • You’re Buggin’ Out – While exploring, players will need to activate character-specific dungeon skills to access hard-to-reach areas and hidden treasures!
  • ​Follow the White Rabbit and Discover a Bug Infested World – In this hyper-realistic game world, players must help out Shina escape a game universe filled with infected bosses and mesmerizing environments!

While the game is quite a bit far away, stay tuned for future coverage on this title! In the meantime check out some screenshots of this game.

The Caligula Effect Overdose Heads to the West on PS4, Switch and PC in 2019

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Today at Anime Expo, NISA has announced that they will be localizing The Caligula Effect Overdose for the PlayStation 4, and porting to to PC and the Nintendo Switch. For those of you who don’t know The Caligula Effect was released and published on the Vita last year by Atlus USA. The Overdose version is said to fix quite a few issues that plagued the original PS Vita release of this game, so this is definitely a game that should be on your radar as we learn more about the localization and the ports. The Caligula Effect Overdose will be releasing in 2019, be sure to stick around for any updates and news on this version of the game!

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Sushi Striker the Way of Sushido Review

Developer: IndieZero

Publisher: Nintendo of America

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS

A Review Copy Was Provided by Nintendo

Indieszero, known for their work on the Theatrerhytm games, have brought us a brand new IP with an interesting concept. Sushi Striker is a puzzle action title, set in a world where Sushi was outlawed due to the dish causing wars and strife. The main campaign is a silly, shonen-like story that is incredibly entertaining if you just turn your brain off, and enjoy the humorous writing. This premise is way too ridiculous to be taken seriously, but it seems that way on purpose.

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You’ll be in this mode a lot as the single player can range from ten to almost 25 hours. It has a lot of meat to it due to reasonably sized list of levels and missions. Though, trying to 100% the campaign became quite tedious as every level needed to be replayed at most three times to fully complete. Tedium aside, the core gameplay is addicting, fast, and very fun. After every mission, you will gain experience that go towards level ups to increase your HP, and attack strength.


The goal in Sushi Strikers gameplay is to stack as many plates of Sushi of the same color as possible, then letting go to pile up your total amount of plates. Then you will fling them at your opponents to cause them to take damage. Once the health bar depletes to zero, you win. You can toss them right away, or build up a stack, and increase your damage. Then there’s the Sushi Sprites which give the player abilities such as a shield and make your opponents lanes move faster.

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The game quickly rewards on the fly thinking, as well as patience, and planning. This all applies to your opponent as well, and you’ll be competing to keep those combos up since there are seven sushi belts constantly moving. You and your opponent have three each and one shared. This gives the game a competitive edge for matches with two human players, leading to very fun times, or the loss of your best friend, whether it be locally on one screen, two screens, or online.

Switch_SushiStrikerTheWayofSushido_ND0308_SCRN_05_bmp_jpgcopy The game supports every control option the Switch has to offer, but the absolute best one is touch screen. Being in full control of your combo thanks to the added precision is a pure blessing. This game is perfect for handheld play as the art is much crisper on the Switch display, and overall much better suited for handheld play due to the casual pick up and play nature of puzzle games.  Every control option still does the job very well, but in this case touching is good.

Switch_SushiStrikerTheWayofSushido_screen_05 The weakest area of Sushi Striker is the overall presentation. The art direction just doesn’t do anything for me, as the faces on many characters are off-putting, and the designs are generally not memorable. At first glance, the title looks like a flash game, which is caused by the art style being too simplistic for its own good. The English voice acting is pretty underwhelming, with some actors giving poor delivery on various lines, but offering a better performance on other lines. The inconsistency was very distracting, and with no dual audio option this is very limiting to the player. The sound design issues don’t stop at acting, as the soundtrack is pretty underwhelming outside of that absurdly fun opening intro. The music is frantic, it fits the game, but it just never stuck around unfortunately.

Overall, Sushi Striker offers a fun frantic experience that shows that any silly premise can be made into something enjoyable. Underwhelming experience with the presentation aside, this game is so fun, it was almost completely surprising in of itself that it was this good. The price of entry is ten Dollars more than the 3DS version, but with no big differences between either the choice is entirely up to you. However, 50 USD is pretty steep for this title. Try the demo on the eshop, and go from there.

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Disgaea 1 Complete Launches on Nintendo Switch and PS4 October 9th

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Today NIS America has announced that Disgaea 1 Complete will be launching on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on October 9th in North America, and October 12th in Europe! Disgaea 1 Complete is a remaster of the original Disgaea to look as crisp as the more recent Disgaea games. Take a look at the latest trailer for the game here!

Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise Heading Westward October 2nd

It seems like last night’s Amazon leak was true. Today at E3 SEGA has announced that Hokuto Ga Gotoku will make its way westward under the name of Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise.

For the first time since the PlayStation 2, a Yakuza game will have an English dub. But fret not for those of you wanting to hear the Yakuza cast of characters voice certain roles, the game will still come complete with Japanese dub.

What you can find in the game:

  • Become the Fist of the North Star – Explore an alternate version of the Fist of the North Star canon; take control of Kenshiro as he searches for his lost love Yuria in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. For anyone unfamiliar with the original story, Lost Paradise can be enjoyed as a completely standalone experience.
  • “You Are Already Dead” or “Omae wa Mou Shindeiru?” Why Not Both? – Lost Paradise features English / Japanese dual-track audio, so you can ‘ATATATA!’ in the language of your choosing.
  • Master the Hokuto Shinken Style – Kenshiro’s ultimate assassination techniques, the Hokuto Shinken, are at your disposal in battle. After building up the Seven Star gauge, you can demolish enemies from the inside out with dozens of brutal and iconic Hokuto Shinken techniques, faithfully recreated from the original manga. More lethal techniques will be available as you progress through the story and battles. Keep your fists up!
  • Explore a Lost Paradise and the Wasteland Surrounding It – Even Kenshiro needs the occasional break from beating up thugs. Luckily, even in the dilapidated city of Eden, there’s no shortage of engaging side missions and minigames to take part in. Use the power of Hokuto Shinken to prepare drinks at a bar, manage a struggling nightclub, customize a buggy and race through the barren desert, play retro games at the arcade or your hideout, including the original Fist of the North Star game, and more! Tired of the city? Head out into the wasteland in your buggy to collect materials and complete side missions, but be careful of hidden dangers lurking beyond the dunes!
  • Extra Carnage – Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise features everything available in the original Japanese version, plus extra carnage for the localized version! For the first time, witness the full effects of Kenshiro’s brutal Hokuto Shinken on the lowlifes and thugs of the post-apocalyptic wastes.

Expect more coverage on the game as the news breaks but we are excited to see this game is coming westward!

 

Attack on Titan 2 Review – Doubling Down on Titan Action

Developer: Omega Force

Publisher: Koei Tecmo

Platform: PlayStation 4*, PC (Steam), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

ESRB Rating: T

Release Date: March 20th, 2018

MRSP: $59.99

*The PS4 Pro Version was used to review this game

Thank you, Koei Tecmo for providing a review copy!

Attack on Titan 2 is the sequel to the 2016 game adaptation of the popular anime series. In this iteration, Omega Force tries to provide a new perspective on the story by introducing an original character to play as instead of the original cast from the show. Does this new perspective change up the experience or are they just retreading old ground? Today, we dive in and take a look.

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Story:
Attack on Titan 2 covers the first and second seasons of the popular anime, though it is mostly a rough retelling of the story from the first game. You play as an unnamed recruit who happens to be present at every major event. It’s a nice change of pace from the first game. However it ends up being very boring for having the choice of one character during the games main story mode. This is especially disappointing after experiencing the predecessor’s small but diverse character roster. Even if the characters in the first game mostly played the same, the dialogue and aesthetic differences made the experience at least a little refreshing. The added character adds a few weird inconsistencies and minor plot holes in the story. On top of this, the character is silent, and contributes nothing to the conversation in any major story scene. There are fun side conversations that involve you learning a bit more about your fellow comrades but most end up feeling like the same two to three jokes being told on a loop. The season 2 content is the main draw of the game for me. It did not have any prevalence in the original. Sadly, the extremely short length of the season two content compared to season one content only means that about 20 percent of the games story is “new” material. The fact that the series is currently ongoing, the ending is just as abrupt and underwhelming as the first game is.

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Graphics:
In terms of the visual quality, this game is on the exact peg the first one stands on. Almost nothing has changed graphically, though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The game’s menus have a nice aesthetic in tune with the world the characters live in and the motion blur was used surprisingly well. The character models are great and remained true to the show as one would hope. The particle effects are pleasant to look at and the performance is mostly stable with no major problems to report during my playthrough.

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Audio/Music:
It would be extremely hard to replicate Hiroyuki Sawano’s iconic anime soundtrack for the game, but there was a pretty good attempt. None of the tracks stand out as fantastic by any means, but they aren’t bad either.” The various titan noises are just as creepy and sometimes hilarious as they are in the source material. Pleasantly enough, there are a surprising number of songs in the OST. It’s a very average soundtrack overall, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.

-Sample of the Soundtrack-

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Gameplay:
There are a good number of improvements to the gameplay from the previous iteration. One of the original game’s strengths was its extremely fluid and satisfying combat which is back in full force. New additions in the game include: a skill system that allows you to spend free time with your squadmates and have them teach you new skills to equip your custom character; new equipment to attack titans with such as molotovs and attack buffs; and the tower system feature. The tower system is easily one of the best things they’ve added to the game. It allows you to build support buildings once you’ve cleared out an area on the map which can grant item bonuses at the end of a battle, an extra hand in clearing out titans, or buffing your entire team with defense/attack buffs. Out of battle you can upgrade them at your camp with a new currency called, “Wings of Freedom”, which you earn for performing well in battle. Unlike the original version, it actually rewards replaying through old levels for a better score.

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Content:
The singleplayer and multiplayer components of this game are packed to the brim with content, though maybe not new content. While the singleplayer content is mostly a repackaging and lazy expansion pack on the original game, the multiplayer feature has a ton of missions you can play with friends, with a small but explorable camp. The roster is vastly improved over the first, with an upwards of 37 playable characters compared to the previously playable 10 characters. Though they weren’t in the game at launch, a few fun versus modes that allow you to play as a titan were added free of charge. The main game’s story will take you anywhere from 10-12 hours and the multiplayer can take upwards of another 10 hours depending on what difficulty you decide to tackle. There are a few post completion game modes but they’re mostly new game+ or just higher difficulty modifiers.

Overall:
Attack on Titan 2 is the very definition of one step forward, two steps back. While the gameplay is massively improved over the first and the soundtrack is mildly enjoyable, the awkward retelling of the first game’s story mode with the very little new content leaves a lot to be desired. The character roster is every fan’s dream, though you’re honestly better off just playing the first game which does them much more justice.

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Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Review King of the Genre

Developer: Retro Studios

Publisher: Nintendo of America

Release Date: May 4th, 2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

MRSP: $59.99

Thank You Nintendo of America for Providing a Review Copy of this Game.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze launched on the Wii U back in 2014 as a follow up to the Wii classic Country Returns. At the time the Wii U was already swamped with a ton of 2D platformer games such as New Super Mario Bros and Rayman Legends, people at the time were just burnt out of the genre causing less than optimal sales. It was a shame because in my opinion, Tropical Freeze was a much better platformer than either of them. Fast forward to 2018 and Nintendo has re-released this classic for the Nintendo Switch, giving Nintendo fans another chance to try out this amazing gem.

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